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The World’s Most Powerful Women: March 16

A concerning new study about women in the workplace from executive search firm Egon Zehnder found that women feel empowered and ambitious at the office—but only to a point.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the early stages of their professional careers said they aim to reach the top level of the corporate ladder.

But then, the survey’s results seem to indicate, the so-called glass ceiling effect diminishes that drive.

“Desire to advance to a top position declines at the senior manager level and above and drops from 72% to 57% as reality sets in about the challenges for advancement to senior leadership,” the report says.

“In a number of geographies, women start out with the world as their oyster,” Egon Zehnder’s Fiona Packman told me. “Right out of university they’re ready to go for it,” but that feeling dissipates as their careers progress.

The report raises more questions than it answers, aiming to provoke discussion about women’s career development. It also identifies troubling patterns that may contribute to the trend.

According to the study, women report lower rates of advocacy and mentorship as they get older, but women in the C-suite report using advocacy and mentorship at the highest rates. That paradigm suggests that if women do not reach a professional threshold by a certain age, they either stop tapping into those resources or their companies stop making them unavailable. For instance, younger women report the highest rates of having a senior leader as an advocate. That kind of support declines as women age but rises with professional rank, suggesting that it plays a role in the success of those who make it to the C-Suite.

I found the study’s more granular figures most interesting; they show that ambition among women in the early stages of their careers is actually higher in developing economies such as Brazil (92%), China (88%), and India (82%) and lower in the U.S. (62%), Australia (61%), Germany (58%), and the U.K. (56%). The report pointed to one possible factor: women in China, Brazil, and India report the highest levels of corporate career planning tools like promotion policies and career coaching; women in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Australia, meanwhile, report the lowest.

 

@clairezillman

 

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Tough pill to swallowEmma Walmsley will be the first woman to lead a top global drugmaker when she becomes CEO of GlaxoSmithKline next month. And once she’s there, she’ll receive a pay package 25% less than her male predecessor’s. Her base salary of $1.23 million is 10% less than what outgoing CEO Andrew Witty earned. Her pension contributions, bonus, and long-term incentive opportunities will be lower, too. The decision on her pay comes as compensation packages receive intense scrutiny in Britain. GSK explained that the reductions take into account this being Walmsley’s first CEO role.Fortune

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Climate change crusader
In an interview with Bloomberg, Paris Mayor Anne Hildalgo pledged to pursue the pillars of the Paris climate change deal with or without the support of U.S. President Donald Trump. “To be a skeptic today is to deny reality. It’s good sense today to recognize the importance of climate change,” she says. “We are the last generation that can act to save the planet, and if businesses don’t seize this opportunity we are going to leave to our children a planet where we can no longer live.”
Bloomberg
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Professor Jolie
Actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie added a new line to her resume this week when she assumed her post as visiting professor at the London School of Economics. Jolie delivered a lecture to students in a postgraduate course titled “Women, Peace and Security;” she told the Evening Standard she was “feeling butterflies” before the class, adding, “this is very important to me.”
BBC

THE AMERICAS

Classical coup
The New York Philharmonic stunned the classical music world yesterday by announcing that it’d lured Deborah Borda from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to be its next president and CEO. Borda, who helped the L.A. Phil become the envy of the orchestra world, will take the reins of its New York rival at a moment of crisis, with the institution in desperate need of renewed relevance and funding for a long-delayed Lincoln Center renovation. “Any challenge is really an opportunity,” Borda says. “And there are big challenges—I don’t deny those—but those are great opportunities.”
New York Times
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Pay to play
The U.S. women’s national hockey team—the reigning world champions—won’t be defending their title this year. They’re boycotting the championships as a protest against USA Hockey because of stalled negotiations for “fair wages and equitable support” from the organization. The players want to be paid more so they’re not forced to choose between pursuing the sport and earning a living. In the past, USA Hockey paid them $1,000 a month for six months every Olympic cycle, and “virtually nothing” for the other 3 1/2 years, working out to $1,500 a year.
NPR
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Undeterred from duty
Savanna Cunningham, 19, had always dreamed of becoming a Marine, but then she realized a nude video of her was circulating in an all-male Facebook group of Marines. Despite being a victim of the on-going photo-sharing scandal that’s since spread to the Army and Navy, Cunningham says she’s committed to enlisting. She begins basic training in a few weeks. 
New York Times

 

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Ruff go of it
The news is only getting worse for former South Korean President Park Geun-hye. On top of being ousted from office and summoned by prosecutors for questioning in an influence-peddling scandal, she’s now being accused of animal cruelty by animal rights groups that say she abandoned her nine dogs when she left the presidential palace last week. A spokesperson denied the claims, saying palace staff members are caring for the pets and explaining that Park left them behind so as to not uproot them from their home.
BBC
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Milk market
Phnom Penh’s Ambrosia Labs claims to be the first company to export breast milk to the U.S., where American founders Bronzson Woods and Ryan Newell say there is a high demand for their product. Ambrosia, founded in 2015, pays Cambodian women who have passed a health screening between $5 to $10 per day for their breast milk, or about 64 cents per ounce. The milk is then frozen and sent to Utah, where it is pasteurized and shipped all over the U.S.—the South is a particularly hot market.
Broadly
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News summaries by Linda Kinstler @lindakinstler

IN BRIEF

If Trump wants to end legal abortion, he’s going to have to go through Holland’s Lilianne Ploumen first
Foreign Policy

This festival wants to reclaim Russian feminism, but is it radical enough?
Guardian

Donald Trump Jr. is trolling Rachel Maddow on social media
Fortune

12 female curators and gallerists on their favorite female artists
New York Magazine

The UN has a new campaign to stop women from being ‘robbed’ of equal pay
Fortune

PARTING WORDS

“You can’t have it all at once…Over my lifespan, I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time, things were rough.”
--Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who celebrated her 84th birthday yesterday.